Air Fryers vs Ovens – The Cost Compared

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Air fryers have paved their way in our kitchens due to the health benefits they provide when cooking fried items compared to conventional fryers.

They also are more versatile, letting you cook practically anything. This begs the question, are air fryers cheaper than ovens?

Air fryers are cheaper than conventional ovens to operate. This is because they use electricity, a utility often cheaper than gas. Moreover, they also consume less time to cook the same meal further driving down costs.

In this article, we will go over the precise cost differences between air fryers and conventional gas ovens. And, whether the investment is really worth it in the long run.

Presenting The Contender – The Air Fryer

Air fryers have been hailed in the industry for their unparalleled ability to cook items without you needing to chuck in liters’ worth of expensive and unhealthy oil. Moreover, they’re also great for situations where you don’t have access to gas. 

For instance, when we’re out camping, an air fryer is an absolute necessity since it saves us from packing up oil and lets us fry our food in a matter of minutes.

Of course, you’ll still need access to an electrical outlet as they run on electricity instead of gas. However, an outlet is easier to find in remote areas compared to gas. Plus, how inconvenient would it be to carry a gas oven everywhere?

While we can go on and on about the many advantages of owning an air fryer (as you can guess, we’re huge fans), that’s not what we’re here to answer. We’re here to pit the air fryer and the gas oven in a cost-cutting challenge to see who comes out on top.

Comparing An Air Fryer and An Oven’s Cost

Now that we’ve been introduced to the contender, there are a few important factors we need to take into accord before we estimate the cost.

Your price of gas and electricity is dependent on where you live. Depending on your corner of the globe, gas can be significantly more expensive than electricity or vice versa.

So, when performing a comparison for yourself locally, take your gas and electricity rates into consideration. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a skewed result. 

An Oven’s Cost

A conventional oven uses gas to cook food items. For this experiment, we’ll be using chicken thighs as an example. Now, we need to include preheating time including the actual cooking time for an oven.

So, to cook chicken thighs, we’ll be using an oven at 400 F for about 40 minutes. How does that equate to cost? While that varies from oven to oven, a reasonable estimate for a gas oven is about 40 cents per hour on average for the United States.

The actual cost of cooking that particular piece of chicken thigh with a conventional oven is about 26 cents. 

Time Duration1 Day1 Week1 Month1 Year
Conventional Oven26 cents182 cents780 cents9490 cents
Air Fryer10 cents70 cents300 cents3650 cents
Price Difference16 cents112 cents480 cents5840 cents
Comparison Table of Electric Use Between Air Fryers And Ovens

So, over the span of a year, we see a difference of about $58 given that you just use your

An Air Fryer’s Cost

We’re not going to be accommodating the fact that you need a lower quantity of oil to cook items in an air fryer.

We’ll keep things even and just use energy costs for the air fryer too. So, we’ll be using an air fryer at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. This is about half the time compared to a conventional oven. This is because air fryers do not need to preheat unlike gas ovens.

An air fryer costs about 25 cents an hour to operate on electricity on average in the United States. So, the actual cost of cooking our chicken thigh is just a measly 10 cents.

Here’s my review video of the Tower Air Fryer.

The Verdict

An air fryer takes a lot less time and energy to cook the same food item. However, the difference between 10 and 26 cents may not seem like much. But, we truly get to see the magnitude of only a few cents once we put things up to scale.

So, to help further illustrate, this table will assume that you are an absolutely huge fan of chicken thighs and love to cook them every day. Here’s how your costs will compare over the span of a week, month, then a year depending on whether you use an air fryer or conventional oven:

So, over the span of a year, we see a difference of about $58 given that you just use your conventional oven and an air fryer to cook a piece of chicken thighs every single day.

Once we get to an actual scenario of you using your oven for cooking a lot more than just thighs, we end up with the usage of an air fryer leading to about 50-70% in total cost savings.

Besides just cost, air fryers take almost half as much time to cook the same meal compared to conventional ovens. 

Should I Buy An Air Fryer If I Have An Oven

Yes, you should purchase an air fryer even if you have an oven. You end up reducing your energy footprint by 50-70%, leading to a reduction in overall costs. Moreover, you also save up on valuable time as you don’t need to preheat an air fryer.

Lastly, electricity is more widely available than gas in most remote locations. Plus, you also gain the added advantage of portability and versatility as air fryers tend to be able to produce meals that cater to a wider palette compared to ovens.

Final Thoughts. An air fryer definitely isn’t a gimmick as many initially presumed once it started gaining popularity as a staple kitchen appliance used in houses around the globe.

We’ve been using one ourselves, and, besides just the better-tasting food and healthier options; we have seen a tangible difference in our utility bills compared to when we used our gas oven for most of our cooking.